The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and Rádio e Televisão de Portugal (RTP) has today revealed that the city chosen to host the 63rd Eurovision Song Contest in 2018 will be the country’s capital and largest city, Lisbon.
The Eurovision Song Contest Semi Finals will take place in the city on Tuesday 8 and Thursday 10 May, with the Grand Final staged on Saturday 12 May 2018.
The city fought off strong competition from four others to host the world’s most exciting musical event, which reached over 180 million viewers in 2017. Braga, Gondomar, Guimarães and Santa Maria da Feira were in contention, before the decision was made to bring the Contest to Lisbon.
Portugal are hosting the next Contest following Salvador Sobral’s victory in Kyiv this year, scoring a record high 758 points performing “Amar Pelos Dois”, written by his sister Luísa.
This is the first time ever that the competition will be held in Portugal. Sobral’s win was the country’s first in their 53 years of competing. 2018 will also mark Portugal’s 50th appearance in the Contest.
Jon Ola Sand, the EBU’s Executive Supervisor for the Eurovision Song Contest, said “We are very pleased to announce that RTP will be hosting the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest in Lisbon. The city has presented an exemplary proposal, and we look forward to working together to make Portugal’s first ever Eurovision the most exciting one yet. We would like to congratulate RTP on their professional and detailed assessments of all the bids.”
Speaking at a press conference in Lisbon the EBU's Media Director Jean Philip De Tender said: "Each year more than 40 European countries come together to celebrate both diversity and unity. It is a strong European brand, that with Australia – amongst others – has reached out to the rest of the world. Through your Portuguese eyes we will for sure look at Europe and the world with a different angle."
He added: "The Eurovision Song Contest is three fantastic shows, that reach nearly 200 million viewers worldwide. But it’s also an event that will be welcoming thousands of people from across Europe and the World here in Lisbon to spend some time together in that same open spirit. Mos of them will fly in, but Lisbon will be the harbour to all of them."
Gonçalo Reis, the CEO of host broadcaster RTP, said “Hosting the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest is a great opportunity for Portugal, Lisbon, the entertainment industry, and RTP. We look forward to organizing an event that will show our creative capabilities.”
Lisbon is one of the oldest cities in Europe, located on Portugal’s Atlantic Coast with a population of over 2.7 million people.